Friday, February 27, 2009


Riddle: What birds inevitably follow tornados?
Answer: Vultures.

Walking out to the mailbox recently, I saw a burly fellow swagger confidently right at me. Not towards--at. He carried a self-important clipboard, wore jeans and a T-shirt that would have enabled his mother to find him on the far side of the Sahara in the middle of the night: ASK ME ABOUT YOUR ROOF!

"Guess you know what I do!" he bellowed.

I looked blank. (I'm getting good at that, better with every passing birthday, whichever one it may be.)

"Everybody in your neighborhood has to have a new ROOF!" he gloated, sweeping his arm possessively down the block.

"Ummm," I responded and kept going.

"You got a good roofing contractor?" he called to my back.

I nodded, in a manner of not speaking.

"YOU BETTER BE CAREFUL!" he yelled at the closing door.

Yesterday I went out into the back yard with the dogs, and while there, scattered some bird seed. I had spotted the shy cardinal couple on the patio earlier, and wanted to put the welcome mat out.

Amid the general cheeping and chirping around the neighborhood, I heard a different sound I couldn't place.

THUNK-thunk. THUNK-thunk. Tuh-THUNK-thunk. Woodpeckers? Nah. Then what?

Ah! Roofers. Not an unpleasant sound, actually. Rhythmic,and rather muted.

The tornado three weeks ago had swerved dangerously close to us for 10 minutes. There had been a great wind and battering hail (about the size of Ping-Pong balls) for perhaps five minutes. The roofing salesmen had swarmed for some ten days. Now the workers scamper up and down the high-pitched roofs like squirrels. And soon the hail-pocked roofs will be replaced by new ones, each costing about five times as much as a tornado shelter.

The Cardinals, however, seem to be using the same nest as last year, right up there in the big cottonwood.


Celeste said...

Oooh, got the shivers as I read this ... so glad you were safe ... love the last line about the birds ... CB

Marcia said...

This is just right, Elouise.
FWS = finely written stuff.
from mwg

Marcia said...

This is just right, Elouise.
FWS = finely written stuff.
from mwg